Film review: Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

The Maze Runner: Dylan O'Brian, Kaya Scodelario. PA Photo/Fox UK Film
The Maze Runner: Dylan O'Brian, Kaya Scodelario. PA Photo/Fox UK Film
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  • Genre: Action/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Thriller/Romance
  • Certificate: 12A
  • Running time: 131 mins
  • Star rating: 7/10
  • Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee, Jacob Lofland, Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo Esposito, Patricia Clarkson, Aiden Gillen, Dexter Darden, Alexander Flores. Director: Wes Ball.

Maybe I’m a Maze Runner 2

The first film based on James Dashner’s post-apocalyptic trilogy for young adults was unfairly dismissed as a testosterone-fuelled Hunger Games clone.

Wes Ball’s propulsive chase through a diabolical labyrinth killed off main characters in a clinical fashion and negated the need for back stories by burdening the teenage runners with amnesia.

Fragmented memories gradually resurface in this entertaining sequel, which veers into grisly territory inhabited by The Walking Dead and World War Z, albeit within the boundaries of a 12A certificate.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials fills in some of the narrative blanks but always has one eye on the next thrilling action set piece, including a sprint through a topsy-turvy collapsed skyscraper that proves what goes up must come down – at stomach-lurching speed.

Intriguing questions about sacrifice in a world where death is the only freedom provide the cast with plentiful opportunities to wring out tears.

Director Ball borrows from The Lost World: Jurassic Park for one of his film’s nerve-racking crescendos and orchestrates frenetic encounters with the ravenous zombie-like Cranks.

“I think hope is a dangerous thing,” counsels one character.

Maybe so, but on this evidence, we have every reason to hope for a fine finale, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, scheduled for release in January 2017.